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Difference between crystalline and amorphous solids

The difference between crystalline and amorphous solids is summarized below:


Crystalline Solids Amorphous Solids
(1) GeometryParticles of crystalline solids are arranged in an orderly three dimensional network called crystal lattice, hence they have definite shape. Particles of amorphous solids are not arranged in a definite pattern; hence they do not have a definite shape.
(2) Melting PointCrystalline solids have sharp melting point, this is because attractive forces between particles are long range and uniform. These forces breakdown at the same instant, at melting point. Amorphous solids melt over a wide range temperature i.e. they do not have sharp melting point, because the inter molecular forces vary from place to place.
(3) Cleavage and cleavage planeThe breakage of a big crystal into smaller crystals of identical shape is called cleavage. Crystals cleavage along particular direction, the plane which contains the direction of cleavage is called cleavage plane. Amorphous solids do not break down at fixed cleavage planes.
(4) Anistrophy and IsotrophyPhysical properties of crystals such as electrical conductivity, refractive index, etc. are different in different direction. This property is called anisotropy. For example graphite can conduct electricity parallel to its plane of layers but not perpendicular to plane.


Amorphous solids are isotropic i.e. their physical properties are same in all directions.
(5) SynWhen crystalline solids are rotated about an axis, their appearance does not change i.e. they possess symmetry. Amorphous solids are not symmetrical.

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